tv Senator Graham on U.S. Missile Strikes in Syria CSPAN April 8, 2017 4:27am-4:37am EDT
say about war? >> did anyone in the industry's and call you before the strike? would you like to call you now? sen. paul: know, the whole point is it is a day late and a dollar short. patting us on the back and saying good boy, here is some information now, i'm going to go a hearing and that's what it will be. we are not asking you for permission. we are giving you a little bit f information. >> thank you very much, senator. really appreciate it. indiscernible] en. graham: yes. i want to applaud the president for taking action. it was justified, necessary, and hope it sends the right message not only to assad, but o people throughout the world.
assad'sis to neutralize airpower. his ability to kill people through conventional weapons has to be taken off the table in terms of air power. the next step to me would be, if assad goes back into the air and drops bombs and kills babies in another way, i hope we would hit him again. my goal and senator mccain's goal is to ground the syrian air force and basically take rocca in a fashion that will hold it, not relying on kurds. the bottom line is to get assad ushed out. the weight you push them out as you take his airpower off table, begin to train syrian opposition in a safe haven. the next step is a safe haven. we have to declare parts of syria say havens until the russians and the assad air force that if you come across this line, you will be shot down. with those, established
humanitarian zones so people can live without being bombed and allow people to go back to syria and start training syrian opposition groups to take assad n. the ultimate goal is not only to destroy isil, it is also to push the assad regime out. >> mr. o'connell said in his press conference a few minutes ago that he sees last night as strictly about one thing, don't use chemical weapons against. it sounds like you would see that -- sen. graham: if it is about one thing, it will not fix the nderlying problem. the underlying problem is assad is a war criminal, he is a punt of the ai rainians. -- iranians.
radical sunni islam in the form of isolation al qaeda have to be ealt with. they are a threat to the homeland. assad have to be pushed out because he is a puppet of the ranians. as long as he is there, this war ever ends. as long as syria is in a state of constant conflict, the region cannot breathe. >> people talked about sanctions on russia for other things. do you see this as potentially -- sen. graham: yes, i'm going to mend my own bill and add supporting assad. >> do you think if trump uses another strike without consulting congress, we you have a problem with that?
sen. graham: none. the only constitutional requirement that exists involving war is for congress to put the nation and declared state of war. the constitution does not require the president to get congressional approval to use military force. we had a declaration of war i handful of times in the history of the country. there is no constitutional requirement that the executive branch get approval of congress to use military force. there is a constitutional requirement that the executive branch cannot put the country in a legal state of war. to all my colleagues who think this president cannot act without your approval, you don't understand the way the constitution works. here is your authority and your power to do something about it. if you don't like what he is going to do in the future or what he is doing now, you can defund his operation.
if you don't like what he is doing in the future, you need to get a resolution up to stop funding any actions inside of syria. that would be a constitutional check and balance that would be consistent with the separation of powers. >> if the goal is to take out the air force, how concerned are you about the russians being in close proximity to the syrian air force. are you at risk of escalating conflict? sen. graham: i would tell the russians it is the goal of the united states to remove a sod -- to remove assad because he creates, constant conflict. the committees will be in shambles forever. to the extent that your airpower is used to keep him in power. you'll be in conflict with us. i don't want an engagement with the russian air force. i am hard over on the idea that the syrian air force must be
grounded. this man is a war criminal and the air force has been the vehicle of choice to kill 500,000 people. i handful have been killed by chemical weapons. the syrian air force is the biggest instrument of war crimes at the hands of assad. i would tell the russians if you want to fight for the syrian air force, you are welcome to do so. i don't believe they will. >> did you speak to president trump? what did he have to say? sen. graham: he said, what do you think? i said i'm very proud of you. you have reset the world in a way it needs to be. we are no longer leading from behind. you had to do it, you should have done it. i'd like to talk with you about what i think comes next. but you did something very necessary and over time, the world will benefit from this. he said about 100 countries had called him saying he did the right thing. the president of china said he did the right thing.
the president of china said he did the right thing. i think the president feels like he took action consistent with our values as a nation and with the world at large. the question for him now is, is this the first step on a longer journey were one and done? i believe it is the first step on a longer journey. [indiscernible] sen. graham: i think he was repulsed as a human being of what assad was capable of doing. the children really moved him. all i can say is this president has the instinct of ronald reagan in many ways. he is an emotional man, but he is also a very smart man. i think he feels he did the right thing by those children. i told him a proportional response over time is going to be the elimination of the man who has killed 500,000 people. >> did he say he wants to get id of assad?
sen. graham: we will go after him with ferocity. we have a safe haven. we will use air force is to train the free syrian army, to rebuild it when they go after assad. e will fall. he is not a welcome figure in syria. he is a butcher. he is a war criminal, and he will be replaced. >> how did that all start? >> it started when syrians went into the street at a hundreds of thousands to demand a better life. this wasn't a sectarian conflict. this was part of the arab spring. i am one thousand percent confident if we help the syrians take down their oppressor, >> would you go u.s. troops on the ground? sen. graham: i would have 6000 or 7000 troops on the ground to help take rocca.
like we have in iraq. i think if you have 5,000 or 6,000 american troops, i would use those troops to train the syrian opposition. i'm not talking about taking on side ourselves. i'm talking about training syrian forces. that's what i would do. >> did you tell the president that is a good idea? sen. graham: no, i told him i was proud of him for standing up and doing something obama would never do, that he did the right thing. the deaths of those babies will not go in vain if we can get rid of the guy who killed 500,000 eople. i think president trump feels like he had no other choice. here's what i hope he feels like. assad has got to go. if he stays, this war never ends. >> [indiscerbl